Dreams “Of Mice and Men”
“Dreams can inspire us and give us hope for a better tomorrow even if they seem impossible to achieve.”
Who has a dream in the novel? • Lennie & George • Curley’s Wife • Candy • Crooks • Curley
What are these dreams…? • Little house with a couple of acres • Live of the ‘fatta the lan’ • Tend rabbits in cages • Thick cream from milk • Big vegetable patch with chickens • Build up fire and listen to rain outside
What are these dreams…? I lived in Salinas, come there when I was a kid. Well a show come through an’ I met one of the actors. He says I could go with that show. But my ol’ lady wouldn’ let me. She says cause I was on’y 15 But the guy says I coulda. If I’d went, I wouldn’ be livin’ like this you bet…
What are these dreams? • Candy- Candy joins in with George and Lennie’s dream, of having their own place, and with this, helps to build up the reality of the dream. • Crooks- Crook’s dream would be able to fit in with the others, and have people respect him. • Curley- Curley wants to be tall! Not being able to fulfil this is the reason for his problems and deep set frustration: “short man syndrome”
Why are dreams important? • Dreams were particularly important at this time because the great depression was effecting the American people very severely. Many people were unemployed or had very little to live on. This meant that they spent an increasing amount of time dreaming about a brighter future…
What do dreams give people? • Hope • A goal • A release from reality • Something to talk about • Fear of not achieving their goal • Stops people thinking negatively about life
How realistic are peoples dreams? • Most dreams are fairly unrealistic because they are “too good to be true” – that’s why they’re dreams. • In ‘Of Mice and Men’ the dreams of the characters are similarly unrealistic, best summed up by Crooks who says “You’re nuts. I seen hundreds of men come by on the roads an’ on the ranches with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads’ • This suggests that so many people had that same dream in the early 1900’s but never achieve it, Lennie and George will be no different.
How does the context of the novel link to this theme? Candy over hearing Lennie and Georges dream decides he wants in on the action, this leads him offering to help out and his frustration when Lennie is killed and the dream cannot happen. Lennie and George have a dream to be able to buy their own place with colourful rabbits, this is what makes them work on the ranch. ‘Of Mice and Men’ Dreams Curley’s wife has a dream to become an actress and leave Curley, the desire to talk about this dream leads her into discussion with Lennie who subsequently kills her. Curley dreams of being tall, maybe this is why he is such a pernicious person. The desire to be able to tend the colourful rabbits and live with George consumes Lennie and controls his behaviour, because he wants nothing to interfere with this he tries to do good but sometimes this goes wrong, when he kills Curley’s wife for example.
What point do you think Steinbeck was trying to make by including this theme? • Gives the audience a sense of hope. • Makes the novel less depressing. • Gives continuity to the book as they keep revisiting the dream. • Gives the book a sense of purpose, as the characters are aiming for something. • Engages the audience with more emotions, like frustration when it looks like they won’t be able to achieve their goal.
Attempting the exam question… The dreams that people have in ‘Of Mice and Men’ are pointless. Discuss. First underline the key words in the question… The dreams that people have in ‘Of Mice and Men’ are pointless. Discuss. It sounds obvious, but don’t talk about dreams in general, talk about them specifically in ‘Of Mice and Men’. Asking you to give two sides of an argument then sum up with a balanced view. An opinion you must quote this opinion in your answer e.g. “I do not think the dreams in this book are pointless because…” Introduces you to the theme, make sure you keep referring to the theme.
Planning The dreams that people have in ‘Of Mice and Men’ are pointless. Discuss. • Dreams: Lennie and Georges dream (have own place, live off “fatta the lan”) Curley’s wife’s dream (be an actress, leave Curley) Candy’s dream (join Lennie and George, help out in cottage to “earn keep”) Remember, if you can’t think of anything to do with the book off the top of your head you’ll have the book to help you. Jot down everything you remember about the theme from the book.
Pointless: They probably won’t achieve them It wastes there time when they could be concentrating on other things People may ridicule them for being so naive Not pointless: Gives characters hope Gives them a motive Stops them thinking negatively Calms them when they are stressed Planning Now you need to make the basis for your discussion.
Planning Think about your opening line, remember it needs to show you have though about the question and understand what it’s asking of you. In ‘Of Mice and Men’ the dreams of the Characters do seem pointless but they do have an important role to play such as… You’re using key words from the question in your answer. And you’re answering the question straight away, without wasting time on introducing
With many thanks to… Becky Smith Liam Hanncock Jamie Not